Cambridge Succeed at 2024 BUSA Qualifiers

The weekend of the 3rd and 4th of February held the first BUSA event of the year: the Midlands BUCS/BUSA Qualifiers. The three current Cambridge teams: Blue, Purple (2s) and Pink (3s), attended, all hoping to make it through to the finals, which we are hosting at Grafham in April. The top 4 teams from Qualifiers gain a place in Finals, and in our region (the Midlands), placing 5th to 7th gains your team a place at the Playoffs event in March. The the top 7 Playoff teams also then qualify for the Finals.

Qualies this year was again hosted by Nottingham University at Notts County Sailing Club. This meant a refreshingly early morning for Blue compared to the previous weekend’s trip to Southampton. With all three teams feeling ready after the previous weekend at the Warwick Turtle or the Wessex Winter Warmer we turned up to NCSC in perfect time to sail the 2nd and 3rd races of the event. The joy of Qualifiers is the true mix of teams present – everyone has to attend, so you can go out and win one race easily and then face a top-5 University team the following race.

With dropping winds on the Saturday, only 67 races were completed, and the teams headed back to their accommodations ready for a big day of racing ahead, with Blue on 100% wins, and Purple and Pink still well in the running for a spot in the top 4.


The Sunday started with a re-sail of Saturday’s race between Blue and Loughborough Purple (Blue had won on the water). Loughborough had suffered an equipment failure in that previous race. Second time around, unfortunately Blue were not able to retain their previous day’s win. So ending up finishing the event comfortably in second place with only that singular loss.


Purple had a similarly successful day – leaving them on 8.75 win-points. The fractional point system arising because the small number of teams at the event allowed for the scheduling of multiple round-robins. They retaining 4th place overall and qualified straight through.


Pink also had a great day, proving their worth against the best teams and nearly beating event winners Loughborough Purple. They ended up in 7th place, qualifying for playoffs, and although they were the only third team competing, were far ahead of any other university second team.

The rest of racing on Sunday was called off early; after a switch to cutdowns after a few hours of racing, the wind was deemed too strong to continue racing, allowing us to return to Cambridge for some celebratory drinks in Hawks.

Many thanks to NCSC for hosting the event, and to Nottingham Uni for running the event.

The teams were:

Blue: Robbie McDonald (Helm) and Lucius Bligh (Crew, VC Team Racing and Captain), Tim Hire (Helm) and Hannah Cox (Crew), Gordon Cogan-Sivarajan (Helm) and Lizzie Lindsell (Crew)

Purple: Magnus Handley (Helm, Captain) and Lisanne Blok (Crew), Charlie Merryweather (Helm) and Jenny Jiang (Crew), Ellen Morley (Helm) and Sam Dernie (Crew)

Pink: Blake Tudor (Helm) and Claudia Bazyk (Crew, Captain), Max Vella (Helm) and Mia Becker (Crew), Jesse Kibble (Helm) and Joe Ayres (Crew)

The whole Cambridge Squad at the 2024 Midland BUCS/BUSA Qualifiers
Cambridge Blue: 2nd overall at the qualifiers
Cambridge Purple: 4th overall at the qualifiers
Cambridge Pink: 7th overall at the qualifiers (heading to the playoffs)

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